Commerical Banker, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
- Native of Tirana, Albania
- Industry Commercial Banking
Erald Sino knew he couldn’t live in New York much longer. A particularly snowy February in the city was what settled it for Erald and his wife, who much prefers warmer weather, despite having grown up in Maine, where the two met while Erald was getting his Master’s. Erald, on the other hand, grew up in Albania, which enjoys a much milder climate than the Northeast United States.
Erald and his wife left the city on a blustery winter day for a trip to Greenville, South Carolina to visit his wife’s godparents. It took about two hours in the city for the pair to know it was where they wanted to live.
“We left New York City in a full-blown snow storm and just a few hours later we were sitting outside in downtown Greenville, eating burgers and watching people walk by in light jackets,” he said. “It was a no-brainer.”
During their time in New York, Erald found a job at JPMorgan Chase & Co., a global financial institution with more than 250,000 employees worldwide, and got an MBA at NYU’s Stern School of Business while his wife attended the NYU School of Dentistry. When the couple made the move to Upstate South Carolina, just six months after the birth of their first child, Erald was able to continue working at JPMorgan Chase as the firm expanded into the region with a new commercial banking office in Greenville.
So, did Upstate South Carolina live up to their expectations? “It met our expectations, and better,” according to Erald. But there were a few surprises.
“I knew about BMW, I knew about Michelin, I knew there was an international company presence here. And for me, as someone who wasn’t born in the U.S. I knew that meant it would be a welcoming place for me.
“But the implications of having international companies here goes beyond having people from other countries walking around,” he continued. “It contributes to a culture where people are more accepting and genuinely interested in my life story and how I ended up here. It’s like New York in that way. That, and the restaurant scene is very diverse.”
Another surprise coming from New York was just how much there is to do in the Upstate. “There’s really a lot to do and you can find anything you want—from local stores to restaurants to activities. The downtown has a very European feel and it’s very walkable. Living in New York, we didn’t have a car, so we liked that aspect,” he said. Erald and his family rented for the first six months and have since found a house that’s walkable to downtown.
Other differences from New York? The landlords. “We left the worst landlord in New York,” he said. “We got to South Carolina, and the building managers were just the nicest people we had ever met. That’s really what you find with everyone here.”
So, how did Erald weather the challenges of 2020?
“I feel fortunate to work for a company like JPMorgan Chase. At the beginning of the pandemic, the company deployed the technology tools needed for me and many of my colleagues to be able to perform my job from home. At the same time, the company also demonstrated attentiveness to our physical and mental wellbeing, while also making sure our clients were taken care of by delivering on programs like the Payment Protection Program,” he says.
Despite the pandemic, JPMorgan Chase expanded its presence in the Upstate by opening three branches in 2020, continuing to see the “bright future and potential of the region” with growing investment and community engagement.
When he’s not working, Erald stays busy with activities throughout the Upstate, taking advantage of his proximity to the Swamp Rabbit Trail, where he walks, runs, and explores the bars and restaurants with trail access.
It’s also a family affair for Erald, his wife and their three children. Erald notes that Upstate South Carolina is “such family-friendly place; people appreciate children and genuinely care about them. Whether at work, or walking around the city, everyone interacts positively with the kids.”
Erald and his family are members of the Children’s Museum of the Upstate—“It’s three stories and just 10 minutes from our house”—and he even volunteered to coach his son’s soccer team at the local YMCA. “There are so many events and festivals going on,” he added. “There’s a farmers’ market in the summer where they close down three blocks of Main Street and it’s just rows of vegetables, cheeses, meats, flowers…We just love it.”
“It comes down to quality of life,” Erald said of what makes Upstate SC different from other places he has lived. “Affordability, air quality, activities for the kids, and the attitude of the people here.”
We left New York City in a full-blown snow storm and just a few hours later we were sitting outside in downtown Greenville, eating burgers and watching people walk by in light jackets. It was a no-brainer.Erald SinoCommercial Banker, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
Want to move up in your career?
Discover your next professional chapter in Upstate SC.Search for Jobs